During an exclusive USG press conference, executive team members of the company revealed several upcoming new products and tools for the design, architecture and floorcovering communities.

Fareed Khan, president of USG Building Systems noted the current economy’s situation is unprecedented, and as a result, so are the challenges of running a succesful business for USG customers. “They have to do a lot more for less. Working harder isn’t enough. They have to work smarter,” noted Khan.

Also from USG is a revamped tool that offers “accuracy, collaboration and speed in a next generation CAD design tool,” added Steve Martinez, USG’s architectural systems development manager. The redeveloped system, which will be unveiled during Green Build International Conference and Expo next month (Nov. 19-21, Boston), is the online USG Design Studio (www.usgdesignstudio.com) specifically geared towards architects and contractors that features clickable links to technical resources, cross-referencing, apple-to-apple product comparisons, parametric modeling, and the newly added Building Information Modeling (BIM) tool. The National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee defines BIM as:

“Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.”

The hour-long press conference also introduced the newly developed Durock Tile Membrane packaging for smaller jobs. The unit consists of 75-sq.-ft of the membrane and two quarts of adhesive. According to Scott Crandall, USG product manager for Durock, the lightweight, 15-lb. packaging came about after USG conducted its own research and found that the average purchase of backerboard was 75 square feet.

Randall also revealed details of the Next Gen Durock Cement Board. The lightweight board is being phased into the Midwest area first, with distribution to the rest of the country following.

Going live next week will be a LEED Report Tool that generates a LEED report for each product used in a project. The tool can be found on the USG Design Studio website at www.USGdesignstudio.com.

When asked about USG’s environmental efforts, Khan said, “USG has a strong commitment to sustainability. We look at it holistically. Our headquarters are LEED certified,” but stressed that the company needs to do a better job of unifying the efforts between manufacturers, suppliers, etc. “Product by product, we are strong for ‘green’ innovations.” Khan further went on to say, “We need to be more consistent in our efforts with our product lines. We will be a strong presence during Green Build.”